Swirl and Whirl Art

Target text


Recognize words that rhyme with swirl (e.g., "Do swirl and whirl rhyme?") and produce rhyme words (e.g., "Think of a word that rhymes with swirl."). 

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • swirl
  • whirl
  • twirl
  • curl


  • Straws
  • Shaving cream
  • Food coloring
  • Shallow pan or container
  • Sink

The children will swirl and whirl colors as they recognize and produce words that rhyme with twirl, such as curl, whirl, and swirl

Literacy Activity

  • Fill the bottom of a shallow pan or container with shaving cream and drop food coloring into the cream. Do not mix it in!
  • Have the children drag the ends of their straws through the cream and food coloring to swirl, twirl, whirl, and curl the colors. 
  • As the children swirl the colors, encourage them to use phrases such as “Swirl and twirl!” “Whirl the color!” “Look at the curl!” “The curl is in a swirl!” “I like to twirl and whirl!” 
  • When the children have swirled the colors, have each child press their piece of paper down on the cream to get the colored swirl on the paper.
  • Put the paper somewhere to dry.

More Practice
Ask each child, one at a time, to say a word that rhymes with the word twirl (You may need to give a few examples. Nonsense words such as durl can be used.).  
After each child says a rhyming word, have everyone say, “Twirl ___ (child’s rhyming word)!” and twirl their arms in a circular motion. 

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SEEL At Home


Recognize and produce words that rhyme with twirl


  • Curled gift ribbon (optional)

Activity: Swirl and Whirl Art 

  • Give your child a piece of paper and crayons so they can draw swirls, whirls, and twirls with different colors. 
  • As your child draws, encourage him or her to say phrases that use words that rhyme with twirl, such as these: “The swirl is by the whirl.” “Twirl and swirl.” “Look at the curl.” 
  • Encourage your child to use these phrases by saying some of them yourself. 
  • If desired, when your child is done drawing, attach a curled gift ribbon to his or her drawing.
  • With your child, come up with words that rhyme with twirl (including nonsense words), and write them on the back of your child’s paper. 
  • Read the list again to you child, and invite him or her to twirl around as you read out the rhyming words.
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.